Daniel A. N. Barbosa, M.D., is a Postdoctoral Scholar sponsored by Dr. Casey H. Halpern (Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery) and co-sponsored by Dr. Jennifer McNab (Assistant Professor of Radiology). He received his medical degree from the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro in 2018. During his clinical education, Dr. Barbosa followed several renowned neurosurgeons and neurologists, and had a large experience with neurological and psychiatric patients. He developed great interest for the investigations of neurosurgical techniques to improve brain function. Now, he is working on multimodal imaging techniques to improve stereotactic targeting in on-demand, responsive neuromodulation (RNS) of the nucleus accumbens for pathological impulsivity, a pervasive symptom in a wide range of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. After a couple of years working on research, Dr. Barbosa plans to start his residency in Neurological Surgery and ultimately pursue his career in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery.
M.D., Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (2018)
An Open-Label Clinical Trial of Hypothalamic Deep Brain Stimulation for Human Morbid Obesity: BLESS Study Protocol.
Human morbid obesity is increasing worldwide in an alarming way. The hypothalamus is known to mediate its mechanisms. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) may be an alternative to treat patients refractory to standard medical and surgical therapies.To assess the safety, identify possible side effects, and to optimize stimulation parameters of continuous VMH-DBS. Additionally, this study aims to determine if continuous VMH-DBS will lead to weight loss by causing changes in body composition, basal metabolism, or food intake control.The BLESS study is a feasibility study, single-center open-label trial. Six patients (body mass index > 40) will undergo low-frequency VMH-DBS. Data concerning timing, duration, frequency, severity, causal relationships, and associated electrical stimulation patterns regarding side effects or weight changes will be recorded.We expect to demonstrate the safety, identify possible side effects, and to optimize electrophysiological parameters related to VMH-DBS. No clinical or behavioral adverse changes are expected. Weight loss ≥ 3% of the basal weight after 3 mo of electrical stimulation will be considered adequate. Changes in body composition and increase in basal metabolism are expected. The amount of food intake is likely to remain unchanged.The design of this study protocol is to define the safety of the procedure, the surgical parameters important for target localization, and additionally the safety of long-term stimulation of the VMH in morbidly obese patients. Novel neurosurgical approaches to treat metabolic and autonomic diseases can be developed based on the data made available by this investigation.
View details for DOI 10.1093/neuros/nyy024
View details for PubMedID 29538761
The hypothalamus at the crossroads of psychopathology and neurosurgery
2017; 43 (3): E15
The neurosurgical endeavor to treat psychiatric patients may have been part of human history since its beginning. The modern era of psychosurgery can be traced to the heroic attempts of Gottlieb Burckhardt and Egas Moniz to alleviate mental symptoms through the ablation of restricted areas of the frontal lobes in patients with disabling psychiatric illnesses. Thanks to the adaptation of the stereotactic frame to human patients, the ablation of large volumes of brain tissue has been practically abandoned in favor of controlled interventions with discrete targets. Consonant with the role of the hypothalamus in the mediation of the most fundamental approach-avoidance behaviors, some hypothalamic nuclei and regions, in particular, have been selected as targets for the treatment of aggressiveness (posterior hypothalamus), pathological obesity (lateral or ventromedial nuclei), sexual deviations (ventromedial nucleus), and drug dependence (ventromedial nucleus). Some recent improvements in outcomes may have been due to the use of stereotactically guided deep brain stimulation and the change of therapeutic focus from categorical diagnoses (such as schizophrenia) to dimensional symptoms (such as aggressiveness), which are nonspecific in terms of formal diagnosis. However, agreement has never been reached on 2 related issues: 1) the choice of target, based on individual diagnoses; and 2) reliable prediction of outcomes related to individual targets. Despite the lingering controversies on such critical aspects, the experience of the past decades should pave the way for advances in the field. The current failure of pharmacological treatments in a considerable proportion of patients with chronic disabling mental disorders is reminiscent of the state of affairs that prevailed in the years before the early psychosurgical attempts. This article reviews the functional organization of the hypothalamus, the effects of ablation and stimulation of discrete hypothalamic regions, and the stereotactic targets that have most often been used in the treatment of psychopathological and behavioral symptoms; finally, the implications of current and past experience are presented from the perspective of how this fund of knowledge may usefully contribute to the future of hypothalamic psychosurgery.
View details for DOI 10.3171/2017.6.FOCUS17256
View details for Web of Science ID 000410299800009
View details for PubMedID 28859567
A Neglected Cause of Iatrogenic Brachial Plexus Injuries in Psychiatric Patients
2018; 82 (3): 307–11
Psychiatric patients are often kept immobilized during hospitalization to avoid self-inflicted injuries and danger to third parties. Inadequate positioning can lead to brachial plexus injuries (BPI).To present a series of 5 psychiatric patients with BPI after being left sedated and restrained for prolonged periods of time during hospitalization.We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 5 psychiatric patients with iatrogenic BPI referred by other institutions to our service. The restraint technique adopted by those institutions consisted of a high-thoracic restraint. All patients underwent complete clinical and neurological examination at our center. Information concerning patient demographics, BPI characteristics, treatment choice, and ultimate outcome was recorded.Three patients were male. The age of our patients ranged from 25 to 61 years old (mean: 41.2; median: 43). Three patients had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder while 2 had schizophrenia. Duration of immobilization ranged from 5 to 168 h (mean: 77.8; median: 72). Four patients presented with a unilateral right-sided lesion. Time to presentation ranged from 1 to 9 mo (mean: 4.2; median: 4). All patients also had intense pain and axillary lesions. Four patients received conservative treatment with partial or full functional recovery and complete pain resolution. The remaining patients underwent surgical repair and experienced good functional outcome.Psychiatric patients who need to be sedated and immobilized must be monitored closely, as BPI can occur from high-thoracic restraints. When such an injury occurs, the patient must be referred to a center specialized in peripheral nerve surgery and rehabilitation.
View details for DOI 10.1093/neuros/nyx162
View details for Web of Science ID 000439685800023
View details for PubMedID 28521032
Double Blinded Randomized Trial of Subcutaneous Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation as Adjuvant Treatment for Major Unipolar Depressive Disorder.
More than 30% of major depressive disorder patients fail to respond to adequate trials of medications and psychotherapy. While modern neuromodulation approaches (ie, vagal nerve stimulation, deep brain stimulation) are yet to prove their efficacy for such cases in large randomized controlled trials, trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS) has emerged as an alternative with promising effects on mood disorders.To assess efficacy, safety, tolerability, and placebo effect duration of continuous subcutaneous TNS (sTNS) in treatment-resistant depression (TRD).The TREND study is a single-center, double-blind, randomized, controlled, phase II clinical trial. Twenty unipolar TRD patients will receive V1 sTNS as adjuvant to medical therapy and randomized to active vs sham stimulation throughout a 24-wk period. An additional 24-wk open-label phase will follow. Data concerning efficacy, placebo response, relapse, and side effects related to surgery or electrical stimulation will be recorded. We will use the HDRS-17, BDI-SR, IDS_SR30, and UKU scales.The main outcome measure is improvement in depression scores using HAM-17 under continuous sTNS as adjuvant to antidepressants. Active stimulation is expected to significantly impact response and remission rates. Minor side effects are expected due to the surgical procedure and electrical stimulation. The open-label phase should further confirm efficacy and tolerability.This study protocol is designed to define efficacy of a novel adjuvant therapy for TRD. We must strive to develop safe, reproducible, predictable, and well-tolerated neuromodulation approaches for TRD patients impaired to manage their lives and contribute with society.
View details for DOI 10.1093/neuros/nyy420
View details for PubMedID 30272245